X Factor creative director Brian Friedman, 39, chats to us about this year’s show – and THOSE Cheryl baby rumours…

We’ve loved this year’s X Factor. Who have you enjoyed working with most this year?

I think Saara Aalto is my favourite to work with. I loved creating the type of performances that we created with her. She can really handle it. She’s the real deal. I loved working with Gifty, too. She went away a little too soon for me.

Who’s surprised you most this series?

It has to be Honey G. The first time I looked at the production notes and I saw the words “Honey G dance break” I was like, “What?! Is this a mistake?” But she turned it around. And the Honey dance break became a thing.

How much sleep do you get when the show is filming?

Anywhere from two to five hours. I am so tired. I had a day off for Thanksgiving and that was amazing. I turned my phone off and ate loads and slept loads. When the show is finished I’ll have a whole two weeks off, before I start work on a musical in the US.

Are you going to be back on the show next year?

My hiring is done on a year-to-year basis, so I’ll see what happens next year, and if it feels right for me. I don’t know if I’ll be asked back, so I don’t hold my breath. But it also has to feel good to my heart and soul.

Did Cheryl tell you off after you confirmed her “baby” news?

I didn’t confirm the news! I don’t know if it’s the case. I read that she was pregnant somewhere and I thought it had been confirmed. I’ve been laughing about this. I thought she was pregnant, but you can’t believe everything you read. She hasn’t said anything to me yet. I haven’t spoken to her. I know nothing.

Tell us about your dance mentorship programme…

I’m so excited about it. I’m working with The Talent Collective on an interactive online mentorship. It means that I can reach out and connect with dancers all around the world. It’s very exciting to me indeed.

For more details on The Talent Collective head to www.thetalentcollective.com